Everton v Sunderland
Darron Gibson and Tony Hibbert missed last weekend's 2-2 draw at Fulham, while Victor Anichebe was stretchered off during Sunday’s Under-21 win over West Brom. Phil Neville and last weekend’s two-goal star Marouane Fellaini are both one yellow card away from a one-match ban.
Former Blue James McFadden has picked up a hamstring problem and joins defenders Wes Brown (knee) and Titus Bramble (thigh) as doubts for the Black Cats. Another ex-Everton star, Louis Saha, is expected to feature.
Last outing: 2-2 (a) Fulham, Saturday 3 November
Last five: WDDDD
The Blues go into Saturday's game looking to break a run of four successive draws against Wigan, QPR, Liverpool and Fulham. Prior to that David Moyes' men defeated Southampton 3-1 at Goodison Park and a 2-0 reverse at West Brom in early September remains the only league defeat of the season.
Last outing: 0-1 (h) Aston Villa, Saturday 3 November
Last five: LDDLL
Martin O'Neill will have been disappointed by last weekend's home defeat against his former side Aston Villa, a result which followed the Black Cats League Cup exit to Championship outfit Middlesbrough. Before that, Sunderland were held to successive draws by Newcastle and Stoke and you have to go back six games to a 1-0 win over Wigan to find their most recent victory.
1) Saturday will be David Moyes’ 400th Premier League game as Everton manager.
2) Moyes has faced Sunderland 17 times since taking over at Goodison Park and is yet to experience defeat. No previous Toffees boss has a better record against a single club, the next best being the eight games undefeated for Gordon Lee and Colin Harvey against Derby County and Middlesbrough respectively.
3) A 7-1 victory over the Black Cats at Goodison Park in November 2007 remains the Blues’ biggest ever win under the Scot.
4) It is 16 years since Sunderland last won at Goodison Park in the league - a 3-1 victory in November 1996.
5) Tim Howard, Phil Neville and Leon Osman have each appeared 12 times against Sunderland as Everton players without suffering defeat.
For more stats, read our latest ‘Magic Numbers’ feature.
Everton winger Kevin Mirallas: "It hasn’t been the best of runs in terms of points and certainly it makes Saturday's game a real must-win. We need to pick up the three points at all costs because after that we've got some difficult games, a tough run, and if we want to stay up there fighting at the top of the table these are the sort of games where we need to get all the points.”
Former Blues striker Louis Saha: “Everton are a team in form and it’s nice to see them doing well but obviously we need the three points. We will have to start very brightly to get the result we want. Everton is definitely a very tough place to go and it will be a hard game between two physical teams trying to get the result.”
Everton 4-0 Sunderland, 9 April 2012. Everton turned on the style to hit four second-half goals and record their joint-biggest win of the 2011/12 campaign. Magaye Gueye fired the Blues in front just seven minutes after the break before superb efforts from Steven Pienaar and Leon Osman made the game safe. The rout was completed 10 minutes from time when Victor Anichebe's snapshot deflected off Jack Colback before slipping past Simon Mignolet in the Sunderland net. To watch all the goals from this game, click here.
Everton 4-1 Sunderland, 6 April 1985. Howard Kendall's Blues marched ever closer to sealing the league title with an emphatic defeat of the Black Cats at Goodison Park. The visitors actually threatened to spoil the day when Ian Wallace opened the scoring just a minute after kick-off, but Everton were ahead at the break thanks to a quick-fire brace from Andy Gray. Trevor Steven made it 3-1 early in the second half and Graeme Sharp completed a very satisfactory afternoon 22 minutes from time.
On 10 November 1962, Alex Young hit a brace as Everton strolled to a 5-0 home win over Blackpool. Jimmy Gabriel, Dennis Stevens and future Blues boss Billy Bingham were also on the scoresheet as Harry Catterick's would-be champions sent out a clear message to their Division One rivals.
Players who have played for both clubs include goalkeeper Thomas Myhre, Alan Stubbs, Kevin Kilbane, John Oster, Gavin McCann and Don Hutchison. The Blues’ 1985 league and European Cup Winners’ Cup winning midfielder Paul Bracewell was also on the losing side for both teams in FA Cup finals.
Referee: Mr L Mason
Assistant Referee: Mr S Beck
Assistant Referee: Mr M Scholes
Fourth Official: Mr P Tierney
Tickets for Everton’s game against Sunderland are now on general sale. To buy, click here or call 0871 663 1878. Alternatively visit the Park End Box Office, Ticket Quarter or Everton Two.